So Many Pennies Inside of Her Mouth

by  Doug Martin

There were so many pennies inside of her mouth that some swore she had robbed a bank in another life. With her flower hat on backwards, she always bicycled with a pink sign that said “mint” into the small town, sweating out coffee onto her 911 dispatcher uniform.  

Outside the police station, all the officers laughing into their spittoons wanted to wed her, as she peddled up.  

Her coal mining husband was scared.  Sometimes, during intimacies, she would cough up quarters into his mouth and pull his hair back and drip coins on him.  The coal mining husband had dreams of being buried alive inside her.  

“Lucky man,” said his father, patting the son on the back. “She’s a diamond.”  

After a tough fire, even the drunken rescue dogs, too aware of the rumor, always shook their heads, wishing their bitches would declare on them such a “house arrest.” Up in heaven, they knew the order was placed: the mayor of angels already had her face stamped on the half-dollar.


Doug Martin’s work has appeared in Double Room, elimae, the New York Quarterly, Nimrod, and other publications. A former Theodore Morrison Scholar at the Breadloaf Writers Conference, and a past poetry editor of the Mid-American Review, Martin’s books include A Survey of Walt Whitman’s Mimetic Prosody (Edwin Mellen, 2004) and Online Writing: The Best of the First Ten Years (editor), which is forthcoming in 2007 from Snow*Vigate Press.

Published on December 31, 2007 at 5:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

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